Seven Military Classics - Seven Important Military Texts of Ancient China
The Seven Military Classics (武经七书) of China were seven important military texts of ancient China which included Sun-tzu's The Art of War. The texts were canonized under this name during the 11th century AD, and from the Song Dynasty onwards were included in most military encyclopedias. For imperial officers, either some or all of the works were required reading to merit promotion like the requirement for all bureaucrats to learn and know Confucius' work. There were many anthologies with different notations and analyses by scholars throughout the centuries leading up to the present versions in Western publishing. Qing emperor Kangxi, however, considered them to be "full of nonsense." Members of the Communist Party of China also studied the texts during the Chinese Civil War as well as many European and American military minds.
According to Ralph D. Sawyer and Mei-chün Sawyer, who created one of the latest translations, the Seven Military Classics include the following texts:
* Jiang Ziya (Taigong)'s Six Secret Strategic Teachings
There are no other known variations of the Seven Military Classics anthology with alternating members but the constituent works themselves have had multiple versions, especially the Art of War, which has had at least a dozen different translations to English in the 20th Century alone.